It is possible to teach old politicians new tricks – if you threaten their reelection efforts. One of the most tired-old dinosaurs on Capitol Hill; U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), has abandoned Obamacare and now supports Medicare for All.
“I believe in universal healthcare; in a public health option to compete with private insurance companies, and expanding Medicare to everyone over 55,” Feinstein said in a recent TV ad. The Senator is backing up her actions with legislation.
How Diane Feinstein plans to Kill Obamacare and Private Health Insurance
Feinstein is cosponsoring a bill to add a “public option” (single-payer health insurance) to the Obamacare exchanges, The Sacramento Bee reported. That would effectively kill Obamacare because the public option would be cheaper and far more inclusive than the competing private plans.
The public option is a sneaky means to implement single payer and destroy private health insurance through competition. Since private insurers would not be able to compete they would drop out of the market. Any public option’s premiums would be far lower, and it would likely be available everywhere. Most people would “vote” with their pocketbooks and choose the cheaper “public option.”
Feinstein also supports the Choose Medicare Act which would allow employers to offer Medicare to their employees. That too would kill private health insurance, because almost every employer would choose the cheaper Medicare option. Medicare would be far more competitive and unbeatable in the market if Congress were to make it no deductible.
Republicans would be far more likely to support a “public option” or Choose Medicare than pure single-payer. President Donald J. Trump (R-New York) is likely to sign a Choose Medicare Act if one reaches his desk.
Trump would sign Choose Medicare because it would ensure his reelection in 2020 – if he wants to run. Something like Choose Medicare is likely to pass Congress if Democrats take control of one house next year. The Donald; who was a strong supporter of Single-Payer before he entered Presidential politics, is likely to flip right back if the political tide keeps turning left.
Is Expanding Medicare to 55 a Good Idea?
Feinstein backs another sneaky way of implementing single-payer: she wants to expand Medicare to everybody over 55 years of age.
Such an expansion might be a bad idea because it would cost some people their jobs. If Medicare to 55 passed, employers would have a strong incentive to fire persons under 55 because they would have to pay for their health insurance.
If the boss has to choose between terminating Lionel; who is 56 and whose kids are grown, and Charlie (who is 38 and has two young kids at home) after Medicare 55 passes. The boss would probably lay off Charlie and keep Lionel because there would be no added health-insurance costs. The company would save several hundred dollars a month by keeping the older worker.
That situation will lead to a lot of public pressure to expand Medicare to everybody. Particularly, if the boss fires Jane; who is 53, and tells her: “give me a call when you turn 55 I can afford to hire you back then.” Angry voters tired of seeing people with gray hair but lower qualifications getting hired instead of them will likely demand the expansion of Medicare to everybody.
Why did Feinstein Flip-Flop on Health Insurance
Feinstein flipped her position on health insurance because she faces a serious reelection challenge from California State Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).
De León is not some radical insurgent; he was the highest-ranking member or President pro tempore of the California State Senate. Even though he is to the left of Feinstein, de León is very much the establishment.
The California U.S. Senate race is a civil war between sides of the Democratic establishment with radically views on issues on healthcare. Such a civil war is possible because of the Golden State’s jungle primaries in which candidates from the same party can run against each other.
The warring Democratic factions are moderates; like Feinstein who offer voters a “Republican-lite” agenda, and leftists – such as de León who favor a more activist government. Feinstein’s flip on health insurance proves the leftists are winning, and the moderates are losing.
My prediction is that we will see Choose Medicare, the public option for Obamacare, and Medicare 55 become law by 2020, and Trump will support them if he wants reelection. If trends in California continue, the United States will probably have some sort of Single Payer healthcare in place by 2022.
I also predict that neither Republicans nor Democrats will like that single-payer system very much. Despite their dislike, both parties will mindlessly defend the single-payer system and shovel money into it because voters will love it.